Dear Disappointed Bride,
It’s hard to give very specific advice without the very specific facts (for example, how many is “the majority” and who is left among this “handful” of guests) so I’ll try to be as helpful as possible.
First of all I’d sit down with your husband and really look at the list of people who RSVPd “no”. It might not be as bad as you think. We thought having a really big wedding was the “done” thing, so we probably invited a lot of people that in retrospect we weren’t that close to. The people who really wanted to be there and we were really close to showed – the others didn’t.
The truth is, most people can count their true, lifelong friends on one hand. If they’re very lucky it will be more. Really sit down and think about who those people are for you. Who are the people that you feel are indispensable to your life? Who are the people the day just wouldn’t be the same without?
If any of those people are on the RSVP “no” list, those are the people I would suggest talking to as they are the ones that really matter. If you’re really close, you will be able to ask them anything, including the awkward but legitimate “why aren’t you coming to my wedding?” question.
If it so happens that they have legitimate and unavoidable reasons not to attend, or that your friendship wasn’t how you perceived it (always heartbreaking) then yes, I would downsize. You haven’t failed if you don’t manage to rally a crowd to your big day, in fact you’ll probably save some money as you still have enough time to reduce the volume of stuff you’re getting in for the day.
Moreover, it sounds like a cliché (and I hated it when people said this to me as a bride, but it’s true) but as long as you marry the person you love with your truly close friends and family present, then it doesn’t matter if you had a big crowd or a handful of people: your day will have been a success!
It can often feel like nobody cares, but as humans we have a tendency to focus on the negatives and ignore the positives. At the end of the day, the one person you can really rely on to be there for you no matter what is the one you’ll be married to by the end of the day!